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After year off, Gardens of the Hills tour is back

Popular El Dorado Hills event returns June 5 and 6

Garden scene with white daisies, purple flowers, shrubs and lawn
The Gardens of the Hills tour will feature six showstopper gardens in El Dorado Hills. Proceeds benefit homeless and disadvantaged children in the county. (Photos courtesy Assistance League - Sierra Foothills)

Tickets are now on sale for a popular tour, raising money for a good cause while also showcasing some gorgeous gardens.

Presented by the Assistance League – Sierra Foothills, Gardens of the Hills returns after a year hiatus due to COVID. Proceeds go toward helping homeless and disadvantaged children in El Dorado County.

On June 5 and 6, six spectacular private gardens in the El Dorado Hills area will be open for tours.

What makes this event so special are all the extras set in those beautiful landscapes. Besides flowers, this garden tour is packed with fun.

The tour stops will include pop-up boutiques, wine tasting, food trucks, family fun and the event’s signature raffle. Find “Nutmeg the Squirrel” at each stop for entry in a special raffle.

Each stop also features special surprises. During the 2019 tour, that included a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party attended by Alice and her Wonderland friends.

New this year, the league will host an online “Gardens of Smiles” auction, featuring donated items to further help this effort. The auction is open June 1-7; find it at .

Tour hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 5; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 6.

Tickets are $30; $10 for children age 12 and younger. They’re available at several locations, including Green Acres Nursery & Supply in Folsom, California Welcome Center and Pottery World in El Dorado Hills, Ace Hardware in Cameron Park and El Dorado Nursery in Shingle Springs.

Or order them online at .

Tea party characters
At the 2019 tour, the Mad Hatter and other Wonderland friends
popped in.


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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Feb. 5

Make the most of sunny days and get winter tasks done:

* This is the last chance to spray fruit trees before they bloom. Treat peach and nectarine trees with copper-based fungicide. Spray apricot trees at bud swell to prevent brown rot. Apply horticultural oil to control scale, mites and aphids on fruit trees soon after a rain. But remember: Oils need at least 24 hours to dry to be effective. Don’t spray during foggy weather or when rain is forecast.

* Feed spring-blooming shrubs and fall-planted perennials with slow-release fertilizer. Feed mature trees and shrubs after spring growth starts.

* Finish pruning roses and deciduous trees.

* Remove aphids from blooming bulbs with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap.

* Fertilize strawberries and asparagus.

* Transplant or direct-seed several flowers, including snapdragon, candytuft, lilies, astilbe, larkspur, Shasta and painted daisies, stocks, bleeding heart and coral bells.

* In the vegetable garden, plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers, and strawberry and rhubarb roots.

* Transplant cabbage and its close cousins – broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts – as well as lettuce (both loose leaf and head).

* Plant artichokes, asparagus and horseradish from root divisions.

* Plant potatoes from tubers and onions from sets (small bulbs). The onions will sprout quickly and can be used as green onions in March.

* From seed, plant beets, chard, lettuce, mustard, peas, radishes and turnips.

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